Adventures in Photography

Foreign Service LifePhotography
July 6, 2009

Yesterday was the BIG DAY – Photography class started!  Just to refresh your memories, this was the class that I had found online and registered for back in June.  It takes place over 5 Sundays for a total of 40 hours of fun-filled learning about digital SLR photography.  Let’s just start by saying that I have a LOT of studying to do.  My head was stuffed so full of information that I’m not sure I can tell you accurately what the difference between aperature, shutter speed and ISO are!  What a fantastic day though.  Here’s are some highlights from my experience:

I walk into the classroom, which happens to look very cave-like.  I tried very hard to blend, but somehow the short-haired, fair-skinned, blond girl did not assimilate into the pack of 40 other Filipinos.  I was immediately called out by a teacher, who already knew my name since we’d emailed before-hand.  Again, I couldn’t help feeling like a celebrity.  I was escorted to the front of the classroom and seated right in front.  Since the professor knew my name too, I managed to get called on for every other question (none of which I knew the right answer too).  It was such a bizarre experience and I realized later when looking at the pictures of graduating classes that I was the only Caucasian to take the class in 2009 thus far.  WHOA.  No wonder I was like a circus spectacle.  I don’t think the short hair helps, as I haven’t seen a Filipino yet with anything shorter than a chin-length bob!  How am I supposed to blend when I stand out like a sore thumb???

That being said, I had an amazingly positive experience.  I felt comfortable right off the bat and had 15-20 conversations with various classmates over the course of the day.  People would just come up and start talking – the Filipino hospitality is unlike anything I’ve ever seen!  I was invited to lunch at a Fast Food restaurant and a friend ordered for me in Tagalog.  Someone else escorted me to a 7-11 to find a Coca-cola light, since I couldn’t have ice or anything with local water.  Another friend got me a taxi at the end of the day…. and on and on.  So amazing!

At the end of our class, I popped my head into the adjacent classroom that was doing a graduation ceremony and giving out awards.  I just wanted to get a glimpse of what I may be able to do in 5 weeks.  I should have known that I couldn’t just quietly stand in the back…. the instructor in that class of 40 stops what he’s doing and yells to me in the back of the classroom, “Hello Ms. Sarah, what do you think of their work?  Won’t you please come in!”  I gave a thumbs up and all of a sudden another instructor was escorting me inside to sit down.  There was no choice, it all happened so fast… what a day!  I wonder what next week’s class will hold??  I better stop writing and get shooting because I have to bring in my best shot for judging already next week!

My professor

My professor

photo class

photo class 2

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